MOUNT VERNON — A strong showing by the Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets swim team at the 2010 OHSAA Central District Championships, at Ohio State University on Saturday, was highlighted by a stellar performance by Ian Richardson.
In a field of record-setting performances, Richardson set the school record in the 50-yard Freestyle, with a time of 20.8 seconds. Going into this weekend’s state meet, Richardson had the fastest time of all qualifiers.
“Ian also got fourth in the 100 free (46.9 seconds),” said Mount Vernon swimming coach Jeff Gottke. “We really did a great job.”
While Richardson will be going to state by himself, the rest of the team made a good showing for themselves. Some came very close to a state berth, but fell a little short. Johnson Cochran was 11th in the 100 breaststroke at 1:02.23. The 200 freestyle relay team of Richardson, Austin Jamison, Chase Ledin and Gavin Rundell was 12th with a time of 1:33.19.
“We were hopeful on a relay and the 100 breaststroke, but we came up a little short.” said Gottke. “In both of those, they ended up setting the school record.”
Richardson was seeded third in the 50 going into Saturday’s meet, but he was confident that he could win.
“I thought that I would probably be able to beat the two guys that were seeded ahead of me,” said Richardson. “I really put my energy into it and the time I got was great. The 100 wasn’t quite as good, but I was pretty pleased with that. I try not to think too much about times I was just trying to win.”
Richardson credits improvements in his physical strength for his great showing this year.
“I am a lot stronger than in previous years,” said Richardson. “I also worked on my turns. My turns got a lot better.”
It’s a whole new world for Richardson, who will be heading to the state meet for the first time.
“It’s very mentally and emotionally tough,” said Richardson. “When the time comes, I’ll just focus on going as hard as I can.”
Competition at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton begins on Friday morning at 9.